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GSK enters into drug discovery collaboration with Exscientia

PBR Staff Writer Published 04 July 2017

British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has established a drug discovery collaboration with Frontier IP portfolio firm Exscientia.

Under the deal, Exscientia will combine its artificial intelligence (AI) knowledge with the expertise of GSK to discover novel and selective small molecules for up to 10 disease-related targets.

These targets will be proposed by GSK across multiple therapeutic areas.

Exscientia will provide its big data resources, including medicinal chemistry and large-scale bio-assays and its AI-driven algorithms to design novel molecules that meet the requirements of the lead and candidate criteria.

As per terms of the agreement, Exscientia will secure research payments from GSK to carry out new discovery programs with nominated targets with the goal of delivering pre-clinical candidates.

Exscientia will also receive near-term lead and pre-clinical candidate milestones based on the achievement of all objectives.

GSK will pay up to £33m to Exscientia on the achievement of all milestones and if all 10 projects are advanced.

Exscientia CEO Andrew Hopkins said: "This agreement with GSK is the second we have signed in recent months with a top global pharma company.

“The alliance provides further validation of our AI-driven platform and its potential to accelerate the discovery of novel, high-quality drug candidates.”

GSK platform science and technology senior vice president John Baldoni said: "Exscientia has built an excellent team with proven innovation in drug discovery technologies. We anticipate that their industry-leading approach will accelerate the discovery of new molecules against high value GSK targets with speed and confidence, and without compromising quality." 

Exscientia has also established drug discovery collaboration with various other pharmaceutical firms such as Evotec, Sanofi Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals.


Image: GlaxoSmithKline head office, London. Photo: courtesy of Ian Wilson.